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February 06, 2023
Federal Appellate Court Reverses Shutdown Win
Posted On: Dec 02, 2022

M E M O R A N D U M

TO:      NTEU Chapter 143

RE:      Federal Appellate Court Reverses Shutdown Win 

SUMMARY: A federal appellate court ruled today that federal employees who are paid late during government shutdowns cannot recover damages. This reverses a lower court decision which had agreed with NTEU that employees who are paid late are entitled to liquidated damages.

In a 2-1 decision (attached), the Federal Circuit today, unfortunately, held that federal employees who are paid late during government shutdowns cannot recover damages. NTEU-represented plaintiffs were the lead case on appeal.

Tens of thousands of NTEU-represented employees were required to work during the 2018–19 shutdown and other shutdowns. The appellate court failed to recognize the hardship these employees suffered when required to work for weeks without pay. The court also failed to understand that federal law requires employers, including the government, to pay employees in a timely manner, and be liable for damages when they do not.

NTEU National is currently evaluating next steps and will keep you informed. 

                                                                              Gustavo (Gus) Sanchez

                                                                              NTEU Chapter 143 President


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